The Year in Review

Now that I’ve got all the numbers I’m kind of depressed. It wasn’t bad in the grand scheme of things, especially with the animals, but compared to last year’s crops it’s low. The fruit trees don’t help. Of the 27 fruit trees we have we only got fruit off of 11 – less than half of them. The total fruit tree poundage came to only 95lbs. The majority of the fruit came from our orange tree, Granny Smith apple tree, and the pomegranate.

For the other fruit, the strawberries were the clear winner with just over 46lbs.

On the vegetable front, the only items to break 50lbs were tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and squash.

Excluding the turkeys, which we still have for breeding, and the ducks, which were just a one time deal, all of the animals produced a substantial amount of food. The chickens gave us over 2,300 eggs and the bees gave us over 58 lbs of honey. For meat the rabbits were clearly the winners with nearly 90lbs. Of course the animals require a lot more inputs than the garden, so we just barely got ahead with them. If it wasn’t for over $1,200 in vet bills this year just for the goats we’d be well ahead, but alas, you just can’t win them all.

Last year we grew 1,869lbs of produce (fruits and vegetables) and we got 1,840 eggs. We only got 6lbs of meat, no honey and zero gallons of milk. This year we got 2,322 eggs, 251 lbs of meat, 58.5 lbs of honey and 59.59 gallons of milk we only got 1,232lbs of produce.

I guess it wasn’t too bad. Next year I want to grow more though!

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Discussion

  1. Love it! I do love your blog. Though I missed the vet/goats, can I catch myself up? We are really hoping to get goats soon. My friend lost 6 goats this year to fluke worm, the vets just don’t know enough about goats to diagnose. Finally a farmer found it under a microscope! Thank God. It was a beautiful herd of nubians. (oh you may have seen on Goat song farm blog.)
    Anyways, thanks for sharing so much with us!

    • Hi Katie, you can find out abut our goat problems if you do a search for “Mindy.” The quick version of it though is that my doe, Bella, had twins – a buckling and a doeling. We named them Mork and Mindy. Mork was a big strong buckling, but from the get Mindy was sickly. She was just as sweet as they come, but never really healthy. She first got coccidiosis, which we treated and cleared up. She was good for a week before getting it again. We treated her again and got it cleared up again. Then she started to get weak and was off balance. We took her to the vet (we do have a vet that actually owns goats), and diagnosed her with a thiamine deficiency so we had to give her a shot of thiamine ever 6 hours for 3 days. She didn’t improve and started to develop pneumonia so the vet put her on antibiotics. She was starting to improve but then all of a sudden with just two doses of antibiotics left she crashed. We took her back to the vet who then sent us to UC Davis. She had developed fluid on the brain (they did a CAT scan for free). We ended up just having her put down because at this point there was nothing we could do.

  2. I was just telling my husband about your 2011 production numbers last night. 2011 was my first year gardening in Florida and I definitely spent more than I saved. I grew up in California and it was much easier to grow veggies! I have high hopes for 2012!
    Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration!!!

  3. How do you calculate the savings of your produce? Is it based on supermarket price, or the value of organic food?
    What were your expenditures aside from the hefty vet bill?
    Are you mostly/totally organic? Did you spend money on fertilizer at all?

    These are my husband’s questions – I read him your year end totals thinking he would be impressed, but as always he has a very curious nature :)

    • Great questions Kristina! I actually meant to update the side bar with our totals but totally forgot to. I’ll have to do that tonight. But to answer you now, I keep a spreadsheet of everything we harvest and spend here. The cost of vegetables and fruits is based off of what I would have to pay for a similar product at the farmers’ market (since we don’t buy food at grocery stores anymore). This year we spent around $5,500 on everything (it’s important to note that we’re still putting in infrastructure like irrigation, animal housing, fruit trees, bee hives etc. and that number also includes the vet bills) but we produced over $11,000 in food. We’re pretty much 100% organic. The only thing I do buy pesticide-wise is Sluggo which is OMRI certified as organic (it’s simply pelleted iron phosphate). We no longer buy fertilizer, compost or soil amendments because we have the animals which produce all we need to maintain soil health.

  4. Hey, I just discovered your blog and I am loving reading every article. Hubby and I are planning on being self sufficient with growing our own fruits and veggies, chickens for eggs, rabbits for meat, goats for milk, ect… I watched your video on Thrive and noticed that you also have rabbits. Do you use your rabbits for meat or just pets. We decided a while back to raise rabbits for meat due to the nutritional value as compared to other meat. However, I’ve discovered that people tend to cringe at the thought of slaughtering these cute, cuddly creatures. If you do raise rabbits for meat I was wondering if you have received any negative feed back and how you deal with it.

    • Hi Jamie! We do raise rabbits for meat and run into a lot of people that cringe, however I’m finding that more and more people are starting to get used to the idea of eating rabbit meat (I even see it regularly carried at the butcher). The biggest hurdle we’ve had to deal with are the animal rights activists and because of them we’ve had to stop offering tours to people. I’m pretty open though about my views on meat eating with those that give us negative feedback, especially those that still eat other meat. No life is worth more than any other life. Just because a rabbit is cute doesn’t mean it’s life is more important than a chicken’s life. If people want to eat dog they can knock themselves out just so long as the animal was raised and slaughtered humanely.

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